Whether Sam belongs to that conservative consensus I very much doubt. When Krugman calls Sam "a long-time conservative" he is at his most tendentious. Sam is no conservative, and I have rather sadly come to the conclusion that he is not seriously anything. He has been absent from the fight for lower taxes and the struggle for sound money. He did not utter a word for Sarah Palin or Rand Paul or David Mamet or, not to put too fine a point on it, me. I, as editor in chief of The American Spectator, countered his book with a book of my own, full of facts and argumentation, and we chased him all over the globe for his response. He remained mum.
Neither has he appeared on the intellectual field of battle to support the hardliners in Israel. He has not joined in the revival of Constitutional fundamentalism or, so far as I am aware, sided with the Catholic Church or the Orthodox Jews who are fighting for the right to exercise freely their religion.
Incidentally, I have extended a friendly hand. Some years ago I invited him to a gathering I maintain in New York City called the Saturday Evening Club. There were there that night writers from the New York Post, the New York Sun, the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, the New Criterion, National Review, The American Spectator and other publications. There were serious business people in attendance. I asked Sam to ventilate his opinions. He has never reciprocated in any of the editorial space he controls.
What do we get? We get being likened to the most famous defender of slavery. Tanenhaus does this in that noted conservative journal The New Republic. Tanenhaus is what columnist Krugman calls "a long-time conservative." This is because the New York Times Book Review panned Krugman's latest shrill demand that Washington end this Depression now -- by sending money that it does not have.
Why is Sam running interference for this crowd? Well, it beats me. Instead of sneering at conservatives and trying to tar us as racists, he should come and see what is happening on the right. Our movement is plenty diverse, ethnically, racially, religiously, and, most impressively, intellectually. The Republican Party, too, has all kinds of exciting characters in it. The only one who remains out is poor John C. Calhoun. That is because of something Tanenhaus forgot to mention. Calhoun was a Democrat.